Only 12.1% of children who are performing dangerous work are enrolled in school.
Rabat – Of Morocco’s 7.27 million children aged between 7 and 17, 200,000 are economically active, revealed the High Commission for Planning (HCP) on June 12. The announcement came on the International Day Against Child Labor.
The current numbers from HCP represent a decline of 23.5% in 2019 compared to 2017.
Of the active child laborers, 119,000 perform dangerous work. This translates to 1.6% of all children in Morocco, against 2.3% in 2017.
The report also indicates that 12.1% of the children performing dangerous work are still in school and 83.7% have quit school, while 4.3% never enrolled.
In urban areas, children who are pushed to do dangerous work are often found in industry and crafts, while in rural areas, children are mainly found doing dangerous work in the agriculture and fisheries industries.
74.7% of Morocco’s economically active children come from rural areas, including 84% of all male laborers and 75.6% of all female laborers between the ages of 15 and 17. Approximately 83.1% of these rural-born child laborers work in urban areas.
Across the country, 68.1% of these children are active within four regions, including 27.9% in Casablanca-Settat, followed by Marrakech-Safi with 16.1%, Fes-Meknes with 13.1%, and Rabat-Sale-Kenitra with 11%.
The professional classification of children doing dangerous jobs varies, mostly between caregivers (66.9%) and employees (23.5%). In urban areas, 45.2% of children performing dangerous jobs are employees, 30.4% are trainees, and 16.3% are caregivers who support their families.
The UN celebrated the international day this year under the theme “COVID-19: Protect children from child labour now more than ever!”
The worldwide COVID-19 crisis is adding to the reasons pushing children to work, and the UN is concerned that children will be the first exposed to the virus.
“The crisis can push millions of vulnerable children into child labour. Already, there are an estimated 152 million children in child labour, 72 million of which are in hazardous work,” said the UN on its official website.
The UN also declared that this year will see the organization of a virtual campaign to combat child labor, in coordination with the Global March Against Child Labour and the International Partnership for Cooperation on Child Labour in Agriculture (IPCCLA).